country comms

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 16:47

Member - Jim B8

I have read so many comments from 4wd'ers who are dead against any form of comms in the bush, "leave it at home, mate".
I reckon they must be weekend warriors. We are trying for a long term trip, so we need internet on our travels. Anyone who uses the internet at home should understand that some people are going out long term and need to take along a system of internet.
I had around 4 telstra portable modems, and they always failed.Batteries died, the unit overheated, and the wifi signal was too weak to be of use.

So this is how I got ours to work.

I had a "sort of" setup in the Iveco, and then moved it into the replacement Mazda. This time I changed a few things. The system needs 3 main components, a modem, aerials, and cooling. I chose a Comset modem, as it is industrial grade with a high temp rating.

I mounted it inside the canopy to avoid heat. I mounted it on an angled piece of aluminium, and fitted a 50mm 12 volt fan form Jaycar, for cooling. The fan runs fulltime, maybe I should have fitted a thermostat as well. The only thing is, my fan is a bit noisy, should have tried it before fitting it? End result is, it runs cool, and is super stable, always there day and night. It is wired to the house battery thru a 3 amp fuse, so power is available 24/7
Aerials - 3 are needed. 2 for the 3G or 4g signal, and one to transmit the wifi. It will work with one pickup aerial, but when it is in range of 4g signal, it wont run as fast.
links follow

How it works? Well I dont pretend to know the detail, but in layman's terms, the 2 aerials pick up the signal from the towers of the network operator (eg telstra), and send them to the modem, which has a simm card and plan, similar to a phone. The modem send out a usable wifi signal to the external aerial which distributes the secured wifi signal to any users devices, laptops, tablets etc.
When we go bush, if there is any signal available, we get it, in towns its rocket fast as it picks up 4g and runs its fastest through the 2 aerials. If 3g is the only signal, it is a bit slower, but very usable. So, its only for data, and it works well. Unfortunately, its not the cheapest setup, but in the bigger picture of cost, $2000 isnt too much if you actually need a solid internet.
And before anyone tells me, no it doesnt work if there is zero signal ha ha
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